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SPRING / SUMMER

2021

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OPEN V, VIAN BORCHERT Acrylic on Canvas


CONTENTS Letter from the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

POETRY Gary Young . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . As the weather warms 10 I found half a robin’s egg 60 Laura Smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bloom 13 Slack Tide 78 Beck Anson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spring Wildflowers 14 Rosslyn Chay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Magnolia 17 Jocelyn Ulevicus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wings 18 Christine Pennylegion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maryland Summer 19 Stephanie Powell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Satsuma 20 Hugh Hughes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Four Poems 23 Steve Fay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Orchid 24 Leaving 27 Ellaraine Lockie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Haiku 28 Micaela Edelson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Final Moments 30 Mary Anna Kruch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meditations 33 Marian Kaplun Shapiro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Waiting 34 Fen Kacin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seedings 37 Kenneth Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Bristlecone Pine 43 Christopher Buckley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Philosophy of Trees 45 Mark Hurtubise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Redwoods 46 Luke Levi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Two Haiku 47 Amy Leona Havin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Badlock Canyon 48 Shelly Reed Thieman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Three Haiku 49 Retura Claar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rise 51 Dick Altman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tango of Trees, Nambe, New Mexico 52 Doug Stone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . On the Sonoran Desert 53 Charlene Moskal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rocks 56 Margaret Lloyd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pegmatite 59 Suryatapa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rusted Sky 63 Randy Gerritse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stretching to Eternity 64 KJMUNRO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Two Haiku 67 Jennifer Lagier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cloud Angel 68 Jennifer Atkinson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . At Sea 72 Claudia Ullman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Haiku in Two Parts 73 Samantha R. S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Three Poems 74

SPRING/SUMMER 2021 ISSUE 2

SPRING / SUMMER

2021

ISSUE

#02

ISSN: 2693-5864 (Online) ISSN: 2693-5856 (Print) ©2021 Humana Obscura, an imprint of Bri Bruce Productions. All Rights Reserved. All rights to all original artwork, photography, and written works belongs to the respective owners as stated in the attributions. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system or transmitted in any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and publisher. Founding Editor-in-Chief BRI BRUCE Front Cover: Elora by Katie Ryan Back Cover: The Disillusion of Reality by Max Van der Wal

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Adrianna Caputo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Woman 77 Stan Sanvel Rubin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Invisible Smell of the Sea 81 Gail Peck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Desire 82 J. R. Rainer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Four Haiku 85 Mohineet Kaur Boparai . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Flood 87 C. L. Liedekev . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crane 88 Stelios Mormoris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Stream 91 Subhaga Crystal Bacon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . What the River Says 92 Sam Sharp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Watching 95 Douglas Nordfors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . At a Creek Beside a Shopping Mall 96 Pippa Phillips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Three Haiku 98 Steve Ullom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Haiku 99 J. A. Handville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Indigo 101 Emily Hermann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Golden Sheen 102 Erika Stromerson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Before We Return Home 105 Lisa Alexander Baron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Early December Walk 106 Katie Martin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glendalough 109 Jodie West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . California Chaparral 110 Janis La Couvée . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mist 111 Dennis Maloney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . In Those Quiet Moments 114 Cheriese Francoise Anderson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kin 117 Twilight 122 Paul Felsch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Echolocation 118 Ann Garcia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Toward Night 121 Mormei Zanke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . New Moon 124

PROSE Maggie Maize . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ponderosa Pines 41 Richard LeBlond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ancient Urge 38

ABOUT HUMANA OBSCURA Humana Obscura is an independent literary magazine that seeks to publish the best of new, emerging, and established writers and artists in what we like to call the “nature space.” As our name suggests— ”obscured human”—we focus on poetry, short prose, and art where the human element is concealed but not entirely absent, aiming to revive the genre of nature-centric creative work in today’s modern world. Humana Obscura’s mission is to publish and promote the best nature-focused work of today’s voices and talents, seeking work that is unexpected, real, evocative, yet subtle, with strong imagery and sense of place. The publication’s intention is to inspire readers and enrich their lives while providing an inclusive space for elevating the voices and creative work of its contributors. Founded in 2020, Humana Obscura is published online and in print twice yearly, and features work by artists and writers from around the world.

ART Katie Ryan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elora FRONT COVER Vian Borchert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Open V 2 Marina Savashynskaya Dunbar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Halo 9 Magnolia 16 Bloom 12 Salt and Sea 80 Liliana Martinez Saucedo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Celestial Ardor 11 Abstract Blooms 15 Desert Honey 54 Jenny Siegel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fluid Slice 21

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Humana Obscura is made possible in part by a team of volunteer editors and readers. Sincerest thanks for your efforts and contributions.

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Andy Hann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peace Lily 22 Calla Lily 29 Kristin Indorato . . . . . . . . . . . . .What Is A Weed But Good At Its Job 25 Shiver 86 Amy Aiken . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Dance 26 Tiny Forest 44 Jocelyn Ulevicus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Terra Incognita 31 As Far As You Can See 61 Emily Gillcrist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Culminus 32 Earthling 40 Rain 104 Sol Anzorena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Memories from Ireland, No. 7 35 Alessandra Abbruzzese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Untitled-Submarine 36 Lucie Van Der Elst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Crystal Cave 39 Neil Berkowitz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ode to Public Lands #8 42 Azlinda Kamarudzaman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You’re So Golden 50 Anashrita Henckel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mineral Craving 57 Camilla Taylor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Falling Stone 58 Suwichada Busamrong Press . . . . . . . . . . . . . Love This Moment 62 Ami J. Sanghvi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Skyshore 65 Vanessa Pejovic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home and Away 66 Cold Reading 100 Connor Doyle . . . I Just Know There Is More, And I Need To Find It 69 Natali Herrera-Pacheco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dejar 70 Margaret Dries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Winter Water 75 Above the Clouds 103 Jason Engelund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Coastal Memory 76 Tic Ikram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emerald Deep 79 Whitney River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seaweed 11 83 Common Reed and Cattails 89 Martha Nance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Portrait of an Elder 84 Benjamin Erlandson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Widows Creek 90 Kenneth Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mirror Pond 93 John A. Blythe . . . . . . . . FU 11 G (PP01.1+4-PF05.1+4)190524 #1 94 Lilian Shtereva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Composition in Green 97 S. E. Bachinger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Salis Fabula I 107 Michelle Boucher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reflection 108 Weihui Lu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Untitled III 112 Untitled 116 Lawrence Bridges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Fall in Santa Fe 115 William Bybee . . . . . . . . . . . .There Is No Wrong Way To Be A Boy 119 Wes Adam Riddle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Days In 120 Alice Fritz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pyrocystis Elegans 123 Anne Wölk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eagle Nebula 125 Max Van der Wal . . . . . . . . . . The Disillusion of Reality BACK COVER SPRING/SUMMER 2021 ISSUE 2

SUBSCRIBE Subscribe to Humana Obscura online at www.humanaobscura.com SUBMISSIONS Humana Obscura accepts poetry, prose and short fiction, and art. Submissions are considered on a rolling basis and can be sent through the publication’s online submission manager at www.humanaobscura.com/submit. INQUIRIES For questions regarding submissions, or for general inquiries, please contact: editor@humanaobscura.com CONNECT Twitter: @humanaobscura Instagram: @humanaobscura

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COVER ARTIST KATIE RYAN Katie Ryan is a visual artist, actress, and filmmaker. Her paintings are Biomorphic Abstractions, representing what might be seen if you could place a microscope on an emotion felt in the body. Deeply interested in the female experience, Elora is about fertility, both its profound delicacy and gravity. Ryan currently lives and works in Los Angeles and co-owns the indie film production company Birdy Fox Films. Follow her on Instagram @ katie.ryan.art

FEATURED ARTIST MARINA SAVASHYNSKAYA DUNBAR Marina Savashynskaya Dunbar was born in Minsk, Belarus, and moved to the United States when she was nine years old. Dunbar studied business and art at Columbus State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2016. Her paintings are nature-based abstractions, composed through harmonious movement, material improvisation, and layers of translucent color. The paintings bare resemblance to elements in nature while simultaneously departing from literal representations. Each painting seeks a level of reservation as well as an embrace of the unforeseeable. Dunbar currently lives and works in Charleston, South Carolina.

FEATURED POET GARY YOUNG Gary Young’s most recent books are That’s What I Thought, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award from Persea Books, and Precious Mirror, translations from the Japanese. His books include Even So: New and Selected Poems; Pleasure; No Other Life, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award; Braver Deeds, winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize; The Dream of a Moral Life which won the James D. Phelan Award; and Hands. Young has received grants from the NEH, NEA, the California Arts Council, and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, among others. He teaches creative writing and directs the Cowell Press at UC Santa Cruz.

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LETTER from the EDITOR Readers, I’d hoped that by now, on the release of this second issue of Humana Obscura, the world would be in a different, better state. In some ways it is, in others it isn’t. This year has tested so many of us in myriad ways. How has this time in history changed you or your creativity? What gave you purpose? I was overwhelmed with the kind words from contributors and readers alike about the inaugural issue. This kind of feedback on a brand new endeavor and in such a tumultuous time has fueled an even greater sense of purpose for this magazine—and for myself. I am humbled by the amount of talent within this issue, and am grateful and feel privileged that each contributor has trusted us with their work. We truly value the work of writers and artists and the connectedness within the creative community. As a creator myself, I know all too well the significance of support among peers and other fellow artists. This is why I’ve made my mission at Humana Obscura to lift artists up, offer a level of recognition I feel is rare from other publications, and create an inclusive and supportive community. Now, more than ever, we need connection, community, and escape. It is my hope that you find all that and more here in these pages—in the poetry, the well-crafted prose, the beautiful artwork, and with the creators themselves.

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We truly value the work of writers and artists and the connectedness within the creative community. This latest issue is packed full of talent from across the globe, featuring work from 96 different contributors—40 artists and 58 writers, with several overlaps. Pour some wine or brew some tea, curl up in your favorite chair, and escape with us into this second issue. Be well,

Bri Bruce

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INSIDE THE FRONT COVER OPEN V, VIAN BORCHERT VIAN BORCHERT is an established award-winning contemporary expressionist artist. Borchert has exhibited in many group and solo exhibitions within the USA and internationally. The National Gallery of Art in Amman, Jordan, has her artwork in their permanent collection. Borchert is a graduate and “Notable Alumni” from the Corcoran College of Art and Design George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Borchert considers her expressionistic and abstracted art as visual poems. Her art has been on exhibit in prestigious places such as the United Nations General Assembly’s Public Lobby Gallery, NYC, and in “Art Basel Miami Beach” Spectrum Miami, 1stdibs Design Center in Chelsea, NYC and the LA Art Show. Borchert exhibits in major world cities in noted galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., London, and Rome. Borchert’s art has been featured in numerous press such as The Washington Post, Art Reveal, Vie, Al-Tiba9 international art magazine, 300, Happen Art, Metro Weekly, Elan, Dart International, Art Plugged, The Miami Art Scene, DC Modern Luxury, NPR’s Art Beat, and others. Borchert is also an art educator teaching fine art classes in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

ON THE BACK COVER THE DISILLUSION OF REALITY, MAX VAN DER WAL MAX VAN DER WAL does research into the textural aesthetic quality of the mundane in order to abstract the objects from preconceived presumptions. He does so by creating macroscopic scans of objects like dust, dead flowers, shells, and several chemicals. These images are then later again used as source material for audio visual explorations.

ABOUT THE EDITOR BRI BRUCE (writing under the name B. L. Bruce) is an award-winning poet and Pushcart Prize nominee who was once deemed the “heiress of Mary Oliver” by a fellow nature poet. With a bachelor’s degree in literature and creative writing from the University of California at Santa Cruz, her work has appeared in dozens of anthologies, magazines, and literary publications, including The Wayfarer Journal, Canary, The Remnant Archive, Northwind Magazine, The Soundings Review, The Monterey Poetry Review, and the American Haiku Society’s Frogpond Journal, among many others. Bruce is the recipient of the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Poetry Prize and the PushPen Press Pendant Prize for Poetry, as well as the author of four books: The Weight of Snow, 28 Days of Solitude, The Starling’s Song, and Measures. In addition to her writing pursuits, Bruce is a painter and photographer, with work that has been featured in The Sun Magazine, Near Window, and others. Follow her on Twitter @the_poesis and on Instagram @thepoesis.

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HALO, MARINA SAVASHYNSKAYA DUNBAR Mixed Media on Canvas, 74’’ x 92’’

MARINA SAVASHYNSKAYA DUNBAR was born in Minsk, Belarus, and moved to the United States when she was nine years old. Dunbar studied business and art at Columbus State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2016. Her paintings are nature-based abstractions, composed through harmonious movement, material improvisation, and layers of translucent color. The paintings bare resemblance to elements in nature while simultaneously departing from literal representations. Each painting seeks a level of reservation as well as an embrace of the unforeseeable. Dunbar currently lives and works in Charleston, South Carolina.

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AS THE WEATHER WARMS GARY YOUNG

As the weather warms year after year, aspens move higher up the draws. The mesas are green into September. Eagles hunt over Red Canyon, hawks keep watch in the pines, and ospreys dip into the streams. It is late in the season when the waxwings gorge themselves on chokecherries, lift as one, spin above the hay fields, and head for the prairie.

GARY YOUNG’s most recent books are That’s What I Thought, winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award from Persea Books, and Precious Mirror, translations from the Japanese. His books include Even So: New and Selected Poems; Pleasure; No Other Life, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award; Braver Deeds, winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Prize; The Dream of a Moral Life which won the James D. Phelan Award; and Hands. Young has received grants from the NEH, NEA, the California Arts Council, and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, among others. He teaches creative writing and directs the Cowell Press at UC Santa Cruz.

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CELESTIAL ARDOR, LILIANA MARTINEZ SAUCEDO Experimental 35mm Film

LILIANA MARTINEZ SAUCEDO is a Mexican immigrant born in Michoacán, México. Now residing in Los Angeles, California, she is an amateur photographer going on 15 years, working with analog film using different experimental techniques to achieve her multimedia artwork. In her years of experimental photography, she has exhibited her work at different art shows and galleries around Los Angeles, granting her a solo show at the Rochester Art House. Liliana has been published in print in art magazines in the U.S. and Europe.

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DETAIL OF BLOOM, MARINA SAVVASHYNSKAYA DUNBAR Mixed Media on Canvas, 30’’ x 30’’

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BLOOM LAURA SMITH

What a moment this is, to watch the leaves unfurl in starlet clusters like a baby’s clutched fist. Sunlight streams through phthalo palms. In the bluebird sky, liquid cotton is stretched by wind and the Earth’s rotation into cumulus strata. A vibrant cerulean at the horizon, the sky grades to royal blue; an atmosphere so pure it’s possible to sense the tiny bit of gravity anchoring the soles of my feet on the edge of a globe spinning slowly toward the abyss—so slow, we might not notice if not for the stars at night. The setting sun lights up our neighbor’s flowering maple, splits its bony limbs, a sight seen daily for hundreds of years by those who remember to look. And in our own yard, the buds on the twin trunks of the oak are unfolding.

LAURA B. SMITH joyfully serves as faculty advisor and editor of Red Skies Magazine at Salem State University in Massachusetts. Previously, she was the nonfiction editor for Soundings East, the school’s literary journal, and a co-chair of Writer’s World at the Marblehead Festival of Arts. Smith is a cofounder of ReachArts, a community art center in Swampscott.

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SPRING WILDFLOWERS BECK ANSON

Emerging from the reddish dolostone they announce themselves to the light, resilient in the way their first leaves unfurl like a prayer or pledge to always remain. Bellwort and bloodroot and bluebell, already tender and fleeting, and you left as an ephemeral would — here one day and gone the next. But the wildflowers continue to grow, keeping their word year after year, rising up through dampened leaf litter to embrace the warmth of faint spring light and again declare their perennial promise to endure what cannot be endured, but what must be to go on.

BECK ANSON (he/they) is a queer and trans emerging writer whose work can be found in Rattle and is forthcoming in RHINO. He holds two degrees in botany and lives in Burlington, Vermont.

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ABSTRACT BLOOMS, LILIANA MARTINEZ SAUCEDO Experimental 35mm Film

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MAGNOLIA, MARINA SAVASHYNSKAYA DUNBAR 30’’ X 40’’, Mixed Media on Paper

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MAGNOLIA ROSSLYN CHAY

Each bud of summer’s labour retreats into slumber in its coat of silver fur, and waits. In patient abeyance, it waits. Through gales, through frost, it waits. For the kiss of spring, it waits.

ROSSLYN CHAY is a poet and a developmental coach who creates and holds space for repose, healing, and transformation through her words and being. She writes about nature and her own odyssey, offering beauty, light, and comfort. Through writing, she uncovers her significance and honors her life. Through coaching, she helps people uncover their unique gifts, so they can fully express their essence and lead a full life.

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WINGS JOCELYN ULEVICUS A vision of myself as a monarch sleeping in a tree not shuddering in the wind but with the wind and when the wind came sometime in the night, I put my hands between two crescent knees open and shut, repeat— returning to wild. JOCELYN ULEVICUS is an artist and writer with work forthcoming or published in magazines such as The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Quince Magazine, Bluebottle Journal, and Free State Review. Ulevicus currently resides in Amsterdam and is finalizing her first book, a memoir, titled The Birth of A Tree, shortlisted for the Santa Fe Writer’s Program 2019 Literary Award. In her spare time, she hunts for truth and beauty. Contact her via Intagram @beautystills.

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MARYLAND SUMMER THREE SMALL EVENING POEMS CHRISTINE PENNYLEGION

I. Trees in silhouette Against a sooty grim sky: Their leaves are near black But still, in between each branch They let in the light.

II. July fog descends, A hazy grey barrier: Hidden within it, The promise of December To my weary heart.

III. In the fairy gulch The fireflies are dancing, Green-gold and laughing: They know the secret places Where you and I can’t enter.

CHRISTINE PENNYLEGION grew up in Toronto and has since lived in and around Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Windsor. She holds a BA in English from the University of Toronto, and an MA in Religion from Trinity School for Ministry. Christine spends her days changing diapers, washing dishes, and reading good books. See more of her work at christinepennylegion.com.

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SATSUMA STEPHANIE POWELL

Half-grown orange—you pull the pips from behind your lips like a child, throw them into the garden, think of the trees that may grow where they fall. White veins tear away from the joints between the slices—the tips of your fingers smell like bitter citrus, flayed new-skin like an open flower, blossoming on the kitchen floor.

JENNY SIEGEL is a mixed media artist based in Portland, Oregon. Forms found in nature, humanity, and interconnectedness inspire her work. Siegel explores this creative impulse, allowing curiosity and spaciousness to inform her process. She is drawn to the mystery of things unseen and the dance between chaos and order, working with layers, textures, and negative space to create and invite the viewer into a world of curiosity and contemplation. STEPHANIE POWELL is a poet based in London; she grew up in Melbourne, Australia. Her work appeared in print and various online publications. Her second collection, Bone will be published via Halas Press in Summer 2021.

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FLUID SLICE, JENNY SIEGEL Monotype Print on Paper with Oil-based Inks and Chine-collé

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PEACE LILY, ANDY HANN

ANDY HANN was born and raised primarily in Southern California. Along with skateboarding and surfing, he developed a deep passion for art and design which he followed into art school and then a prosperous 30-year career in entertainment advertising. After numerous awards and accolades, he says that he woke up one day and decided he was all done pandering to clients, picked up a camera, and just starting shooting. “Photography,” he now says, “is like a booger on my finger that I just can’t shake.”

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FOUR POEMS HUGH HUGHES

MALHEURE springtime— calendulas shake at the lilt of her smile

SAPPHIRE LUCK stolen sun, moon makes a bed for our love

AIRGLOW waning wink— canopies undressed in a love-caught breeze

WILLOW sunflower, a tulip weeps— goldfinch

HUGH HUGHES is a writer and poet, specifically focusing on micro-poetry. He lives in Los Angeles,

where he is the president of a non-profit social enterprise that supports women transitioning out of homelessness. When he is not working on poetry or his first high fantasy novel series, he can be found drawing maps and landscapes of the fictional world he created. Hugh holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope International University.

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ORCHID STEVE FAY

for B.

Don’t despair, old friend, the frailty of the slim green stalk struggling to grow on your windowsill under the bleak cloud of winter. Already in January, the days lengthen, and the vees of gray cranes begin to circle above the tawny stubble of Nebraska. Even now, under its red crown, the crane’s eye sees far: all the way to summer’s flowering in the tundra along the Yukon. And look at you, freshly washed in the flash flood of your longing— haven’t you already tasted the purple blood in the throat of that orchid that will bloom again in May?

STEVE FAY‘s poems have appeared in a variety of literary magazines since the mid-1970s. He has been the recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards for Poetry. His collection what nature: Poems was published by TriQuarterly Books, Northwestern University Press, in 1998. He was born in Carthage, Illinois, and grew up near there and in south-suburban Indiana and Illinois. Fay has worked in and near Chicago, in southern Wisconsin, and in west-central Illinois. He writes and takes photographs in and around rural Fulton County, Illinois, where he lives on a small, mostly wooded acreage with his wife, a donkey, and other large-souled creatures.

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WHAT IS A WEED BUT GOOD AT ITS JOB, KRISTIN INDORATO

KRISTIN INDORATO is a photographer whose obsessions include spiders, chairs, and curling vines. She attended James Madison University where she earned her BA in English with a minor in creative writing. Her poetry has been published in 3Elements Review. You can find more of her photography on indoratophoto.com.

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THE DANCE, AMY AIKEN

AMY AIKEN works as a Research Economist and is a self-taught photographer. Her work has previously appeared in Color Tag Magazine. She finds great delight in the complexity and connectedness of life, and her art is an attempt to explore and communicate some of that wonder. She was born and raised in Texas, grew into her own and found love in North Carolina, and now lives and works in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Michael.

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LEAVING STEVE FAY

Under the half-restored front porch roof, the sparrows make their nests again. Beyond, on the morning side of the yard, the ironweeds already tower, the orange lilies count the days. Inside, furnishings crowd, house plants wilt. Plastic hangers in a purple sack, notebooks, file folders, used padded envelopes. Worn clothes piled. Instant coffee spilled on the stove, the kettle boiled dry. At night, a third of the moon scorches a yellow arc across the clouds. Whippoor-will, whip-poor-will echoing across the overgrown pasture, between wooded ravines filled with deer and the invisible golden fox. At three a.m., below the mercury-vapor yard light, the geriatric dog limps into the house, into air filled with our voices snapping out of our crisp new aching, our half-understood packing to leave this long-sought place.

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HAIKU ELLARAINE LOCKIE

In their crown of bloom cut flowers on the altar My brother in an urn

ELLARAINE LOCKIE’s recent poems have won the 2019 Poetry Super Highway Contest, the Nebraska Writers Guild’s Women of the Fur Trade Poetry Contest, and New Millennium’s Monthly Musepaper Poetry Contest. Her fourteenth chapbook, Sex and Other Slapsticks, from Presa Press is her latest chapbook release. Earlier collections have won Poetry Forum’s Chapbook Contest Prize, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival Chapbook Competition, Encircle Publications Chapbook Contest, Best Individual Poetry Collection Award from Purple Patch Magazine in England, and The Aurorean’s Chapbook Choice Award. Lockie also teaches writing workshops and serves as poetry editor for the lifestyles magazine LILIPOH.

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FINAL MOMENTS MICAELA EDELSON

I watched the ants surround the worm. He was privy to their intentions. But what can one do when death meets your gaze? What can one hold onto?

MICAELA EDELSON hails from Salem, Oregon, and is a passionate writer of poetry and prose that aims to shed light on humanity’s prioritization of profit over people and our constructed relationship with the natural world. Visit her website at www.micaelaedelson.com.

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TERRA INCOGNITA, JOCELYN ULEVICUS Mixed Media on Paper, 30cm x 40cm

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CULMINUS, EMILY GILLCRIST Acrylic and Sand on Canvas, 14’’ x 11’’

EMILY GILLCRIST is an artist and PhD Candidate in Cultural Analysis & Theory at Stony Brook University, where she teaches film, philosophy, cultural studies, and writing. Her artwork inspires and is inspired by her scholarly research—which synthesizes post-colonial, materialist, psychoanalytic, and existential critiques of techno-industrial expansion in light of the global environmental crisis. Her painting employs abstract expressionist techniques, spontaneously creating layers of texture and color, and at times incorporating mixed media. These surfaces are often balanced with detailed brushwork influenced by romanticism and natural forms—figures, landscapes, and natural patterns. The work evokes notions of the uncanny, memory, worldhood, materiality, and the beauty and tension of the nature/culture relation.

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MEDITATIONS MARY ANNA KRUCH

I. Loss bestows bravery to our cores, holds tightly to life-giving roots, remains steadfast, resilient, displays enduring light, bears the passing of seasons.

II. On its march toward winter at nearly eventide, the sky evolves into a canvas of silhouettes trees, buildings, the man who walks his dog who views dusk with artist eyes, holds fast to the last bit of rose-tinged light as it makes way for the rising harvest moon.

MARY ANNA KRUCH is a career educator and writer who leads a local writing group and supervises student teachers for a state university. Recent poetry appears in Trinity Review, Wayne Literary Review, Snapdragon, Third Wednesday, Necro Magazine, and in four anthologies, After: Stories About Loss & What Comes Next, Thought for Food: An Anthology Benefiting Denver Food Rescue, Chrysanthemum 2020 Literary Anthology, and Indigomania. Her first poetry collection, We Draw Breath from the Same Sky, was published in July 2019.

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WAITING MARIAN KAPLUN SHAPIRO

After Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot

It must be time to do something or other. Or time to decide not to do something or other. Or time to choose not to decide anything at all. Or time not to choose. I am the sparrow, trilling on the windowsill. I am the moon. The tree swaying in the wind. The wind pushing the clouds, drift-dancing, shape reshaping shape. The poem writing itself. You, breathing. Finding your way.

MARIAN KAPLUN SHAPIRO is the author of a professional book, Second Childhood (Norton, 1988), a poetry book, Players In The Dream, Dreamers In The Play (Plain View Press, 2007) and two chapbooks: Your Third Wish, (Finishing Line, 2007); and The End Of The World, Announced On Wednesday (Pudding House, 2007). A Quaker and a psychologist, her poetry often embeds the topics of peace and violence by addressing one within the context of the other. A resident of Lexington, she is a five-time Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2012. Her latest book of experimental poems, At the Edge of the Cliff, was published by Plain View Press in January 2021.

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MEMORIES FROM IRELAND NO. 7, SOL ANZORENA

SOL ANZORENA is an Argentinian/Spanish artist, musician, and photographer who is currently based in the US. She studied Fine Arts in Spain, Poland, and Brazil, and she has painted murals all over the world. Her work gravitates around nature and raising awareness for animal and Earth rights. Now she’s preparing to release two books in collaboration with her husband and writer Tom Grotewohl which contain her illustrations.

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UNTITLED-SUBMARINE, ALESSANDRA ABBRUZZESE Pearly Acryclic, Oil, and Markers on Canvas

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SEEDLINGS FEN KACIN

Today I planted forget-me-nots in a pot on the kitchen windowsill, perched above the dirty dishes looking out onto the February snow. Each tiny seed a gasp of fleeting life reaching for the dawn. My hair is darker now, and skin more pallid with waiting, but my fingers remember their slow and silent burrowing through the dark and fertile earth.

I often wonder if the trees will recognize me upon waking. Will the flowers that bloom here see me as their own? I wait for the days to grow longer. There is beauty in everything, yes, but some beauty stings and is hard to touch. I have prayed to find joy in the long night, knowing that all who may answer sleep soundly beneath infinite constellations.

FEN KACIN (she/they) is an emerging poet living in Omaha, Nebraska. They first began writing poems as a young child growing up in the Midwestern countryside, inspired by the spiritual closeness they felt with nature. As an adult, she studied art, art history, and archaeology, lenses through which they could explore humankind’s relationship with nature and with itself. She has returned to poetry as a means of continuing that exploration. ALESSANDRA ABBRUZZESE was born in the South of Italy in 1973. She studied in Florence, where she obtained a master’s degree in interior design and previously in foreigne languages in Lecce. She exhibited as a painter at international fairs such as Artissima ’99 in Turin, and in several events and galleries in Milan (2020), Rome (2018), Bologna, Bari and Lecce and NewYork and Los Angeles (2008). The first solo show “Night Path” was at Studio Legale gallery in Caserta in 2000. In her exhibitions and experimental projects, Abbruzzese also introduced the site-specific installation type in her researching practice.

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ANCIENT URGE RICHARD LEBLOND

The pitch pines close around me, small woods few bother to know with their feet. From “Sand Roads” by Marge Piercy

Dry needles crunch underfoot. Brittle oak leaves clatter like the scales of a mythic beast. Only the occasional call of a bird enlivens the dead of winter in the pine barrens of Cape Cod, a habitat dominated by the low-growing pitch pine. There seems almost nothing to recommend it. As a forest it appears to be in disarray. As an individual tree it is asymmetrical, unlike most other conifers. There is no obvious pattern in the design of tree or forest. This Puritan-poor landscape is not brochure-worthy. It is not the Cape Cod of seagulls, salt marshes, and endless sandy beaches. Yet the pine barrens is the most common natural community on Cape Cod and is found in every town. It is pioneer and climax forest rolled into one, and without human interference it can only be replaced by itself. Pollen grains from core samples taken on the Outer Cape reveal that the pine barrens has been a major component of the landscape for 7,000 years. To a lesser extent the oaks are participants in the barrens: scrub oak in more open areas, black oak in older woodlands. The barrens is quiet, but not barren. In hollows, and on slopes with their backs to the sea, there

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is protection from wind-borne salt and sand, and a richer bit of soil (though richer only by the comparison). In these pockets of habitat, the white oak, red maple, sassafras, and beech are sometimes found. But the dry sand that is the bulk of upland Cape Cod belongs to the pine. Somehow, the pine feasts on that meager soil, and in so doing fills the Cape with life. This is the home of red fox, great horned owl, and whitetail deer, of bobwhite and ruffed grouse, of pink lady’s-slipper and spotted pipsissewa. One creature stands out as the quintessential inhabitant of the pine barrens. This is the whippoor-will, a bird that summers on the Cape and winters with the Floridians. Year-round residency counts highly among Cape Codders, but the whip-poor-will is so in tune with and dependent on the attributes of the barrens that it can be forgiven for its inability to survive the winter. It breeds here, and if anything is more important than year-round residency to a Cape Codder, it is to be born here. The whip-poor-will spends half of its time—all in daylight—on the ground, stone-still among the litter of pine needles, scrub oak leaves, and humana obscura


twigs. Its feathers are mottled browns and grays, its form nearly formless, a low mound with a tiny beak and no neck. It is so sure of its invisibility that it even nests on the ground, scooping out a divot for, inevitably, two eggs. The whip-poor-will feeds at night, especially at dusk and dawn. Despite its tiny beak, it has a gaping mouth and voraciously eats flying insects like mosquitoes and moths. It is said that a whippoor-will consumes more mosquitoes in a single night than the touted purple martin eats in a lifetime. (Oh, if only that were true.) The Cape has not always been good habitat for

this helpful citizen. There were no whip-poor-wills in the treeless plains of the 19th century. “The trees were, if possible, rarer than the houses,” wrote Thoreau of Eastham, an observation that could have been applied to virtually any Cape town at some time during the past 300 years. Although it is the ancient urge of Cape Cod, the pine barrens of today is essentially an after-effect of our having given up former land-clearing practices. Its future is even more precarious, as today’s alterations offer no hope of restoration. The barrens desperately needs to be more than “small woods few bother to know with their feet.”

CRYSTAL CAVE, LUCIE VAN DER ELST Negative from Drawing, Ink on Paper RICHARD LEBLOND is a retired biologist living in North Carolina. His essays and photographs have appeared in many U.S. and international journals, including Montreal Review, Redux, Compose, Concis, Lowestoft Chronicle, Trampset, and Still Point Arts Quarterly. His work has been nominated for Best American Travel Writing and Best of the Net. LUCIE VAN DER ELST makes detailed texture heavy drawings, populated with obscure creatures and sometimes unidentifiable shapes. In doing so, she wants to bend the viewer’s perceptions on what’s a sentient being, portraying people as clouds, mountains as people, trees as mountains - therefore testing the limits on anthropomorphism.

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EARTHLING, EMILY GILLCRIST Acrylic on Paper, 13’’ x 9’’

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PONDEROSA PINES MAGGIE MAIZE

My neighbor and his late father planted a row of pine trees sixty years ago. The trees died, but still, they stand. The trees watched me grow, too. They peered over the fence and wiggled their needles at me. Even in death, they remember how I baked leaves and rainwater on the uneven bricks. The brittle pines remember when my brother’s playhouse became mine, then became our pig’s house. They kept an eye on the neighbor’s horses, but the pig gave them something to cheer on. At half-light, she dragged her blankets back inside and shut the door. The trees dropped all of their pinecones the morning she died. Then smoke and salty fog moved into the house. The pines pitied us for patching the caved-in floor, re-laying the bricks, and painting. But they

were bitter—their branches were too sparse for nests. Even the woodpeckers stopped visiting. The trees mocked us for digging holes: for new plants, dead pets, and memories when the fire jumped the highway. They laughed at me for sprinkling half-finished compost on the parched soil, for wanting to cover everything I cared about with rich dirt. The pines showed me a time-lapse that bled into the future: the mountain browned, the riverbank eroded, the West burned. It’s nice having friends who remember the golden times. But bones and matchsticks can’t comfort us anymore. I want to fold these ashes into coffee grounds, manure, vegetables. But I fear that God will smell the rot and tumble us with that massive earthquake we’re overdue for.

MAGGIE MAIZE holds a BFA in writing from Savannah College of Art and Design. She infuses her childhood wonderings into her writing. Her work has appeared in Harness Magazine, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Port City Review, Funny Pearls UK, and elsewhere.

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ODE TO PUBLIC LANDS #8, NEIL BERKOWITZ Multilayer Photographic Archival Pigment Print

NEIL BERKOWITZ is an emerging visual artist living in Seattle. As an elder artist he feels a driving urgency for producing a compelling body of work that brings its viewers a stronger understanding of their role in constructing an interpretive understanding of both works of art and of their own worlds. 2019 was a breakout year for Berkowitz, with 46 works included in two solo shows, a group show with two other photographers, four juried shows, four publications, and a purchase by a large municipal collection. He pursued a dual major in photography at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University five decades ago, followed by studio arts coursework at the New School and several other institutions. He reestablished his arts practice six years ago. He began dividing his time between photography and printmaking two years ago and has recently begun incorporating additional media. He is an active volunteer in the digital media lab at Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle.

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THE BRISTLECONE PINE KENNETH JOHNSON

A steadfast mother in ancient Mesopotamia was teaching her daughter to weave wool to provide warmth in the coming winter near the river lands of the Fertile Crescent, the life-sustaining Tigris and Euphrates, as father directed water to desperate crops. Somewhere just below the tree line in the White Mountains of eastern California, a seedling begins new life, its tentacle-like roots gripping into the rocky dolomite soil as winds of fine sand cut through the dry rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada. Today, the antediluvian sentinel Methuselah stands, the proud protector of the Great Basin bristlecone pine progeny, its gnarled hardwood arms reaching out like burghers cast in bronze, nature’s historic monument, a reminder to remain open to mystery and wonder.

KENNETH JOHNSON is a visual artist, writer, and educator born in New Orleans and now living in Southern California. Nature is often a theme he explores in his visual art and writing. His work has appeared in Carousel, Written Tales, Beir Bua Journal, Last Stanza Poetry, and Subterranean Blue Poetry (upcoming).

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TINY FOREST, AMY AIKEN

CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY‘s recent books of poetry are CHAOS THEORY, Plume Editions; AGNOSTIC, Lynx House Press, and The Pre-Eternity of the World, Stephen F. Austin State University Press 2021. He has recently edited: The Long Embrace: Contemporary Poets on the Long Poems of Philip Levine, Lynx House Press, 2020; and NAMING THE LOST: THE FRESNO POETS—Interviews & Essays, Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2021.

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A PHILOSOPHY OF TREES CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY The trees read my thoughts as scrupulously as the sky—dry wind in the olive grove, fires in the scrub oak, a chorus of flames, and ash floating out to sea and back again . . . like guilt, like pride . . . God, Fate, parallel universes— some thoughts with which to face the forest of stars. . . . Thin clouds cast shadows over the geraniums and the lawn—the soul that was disguised among the sea-grey acacias of childhood shining like spindrift off the rocks. . . . The sea still tugging at my shirtsleeves as I stand here bending a bit with the cypress lined along the cliff, like flowers toward the light . . . no conclusions anchored beyond that. Yet I’m not done worrying about our molecules ending in the cold conundrum of space, all our theories having walked off without their shoes into the night. The clouds of the 20th century are gone—so much for our inheritance, and our hope . . . but where else might the infinite reflect such loneliness as ours? Like us, the trees have little but themselves. Sunlight across the surface of the sea— so it is with desire, despite whatever it is singing above us in the leaves.

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REDWOODS MARK HURTUBISE

Surrounded by skilled, stationary sentries, their roundness eager for our arrival. A raven’s grainy caw, hush.

MARK HURTUBISE‘s numerous works were accepted for publication during the 1970s. Then family, teaching, two college presidencies and for 12 years president of an Inland Northwest community foundation. After a four-decade hiatus, he is attempting to write again by balancing on a twig like a pregnant bird. Within the past three years, he has appeared in Apricity Magazine (Texas), Adelaide Literary Magazine, Literary Award (New York), Bones Journal (Denmark), Deep Overstock (Oregon), pacificREVIEW (California), Modern Haiku (Rhode Island), Ink In Thirds (Alabama), Kingfisher Journal (Washington), Atlas Poetica (Maryland), Burningword Literary Journal (Indiana), The Spokesman-Review (Washington), Frogpond Journal (New York), Stanford Social Innovation Review (California), Alliance (United Kingdom), and Monovisions Black & White Photography Magazine, with two honorable mention awards (United Kingdom).

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TWO HAIKU LUKE LEVI

silence— a white heron soars over the cedar hills

December— cedar pollen rising out of the hills like smoke

LUKE LEVI lives just outside Austin, Texas, and works as a copywriter and copyeditor. He graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s of business administration in finance. His love of nature poems began in high school, which was fueled by reading traditional and experimental haiku poetry. His poems combine nature with the human experience. You can often find him sitting outside, listening to birds singing. Follow him on Instagram @lukelevipoet.

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BADLOCK CANYON AMY LEONA HAVIN

in the earliest morning across the pale green hillside the auburn cows speckled thick with velvet become visible in the drowsy and ambling wind I understand, now, what Joan knew of the empty world of the wicked sermon of the inevitable left barren in the thread-bare beaten hills we have become whipped down by the breeze locked in eyes with the Badlock Canyon calling us back to the badwater basin calling us back by name

AMY LEONA HAVIN is based in Portland, Oregon, and San Diego, California. Born in Rehovot, Israel, she is the product of the deserts of the American West and the crests of the Pacific Ocean. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts and is the literary column writer for Oregon ArtsWatch. Her upcoming works include Holy Roads, The Liberation of Sister Geraldine, Crown for Yael, and The Sun Sets on the Pacific Ocean.

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THREE HAIKU SHELLY REED THIEMAN

derecho the perfume of fallen trees wafts incense-like

harvest moon the afterglow of the last Fuji apple fades

snow thunder resounds in the ancient tamaracks winter kettledrums

SHELLY REED THIEMAN writes to connect with the wounded in their myriad stages of damage. In the words of Salma Shawish, “Not all wounds leave scars because not all wounds heal.” Thieman is a disciple of images, a mistress of montage.

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YOU’RE SO GOLDEN, AZLINDA KAMARUDZAMAN

AZLINDA KAMARUDZAMAN is a self-taught Malaysian-born artist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. An architect in her previous life, she has now dedicated her time to painting. She paints from memories and imaginations that shift and dance on the canvas. The interplay between soft and solid brush strokes of colours and spontaneous lines that abstractly represents the undulating mountain sides and the ever-changing dynamic landscape transpires in her paintings. Kamarudzaman has exhibited and participated in various group shows and her works have been acquired in various private collections in Australia and Malaysia. Follow her on Instagram @azlinda_kzaman.

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RISE RETURA CLAAR

What is the journey of a single seed in the desert without a drop of water for miles, or years? How far does this seed need to travel? And how long does this seed need to wait to create an expression of color so vibrant even our precious sun is mesmerized by this display of oranges, pinks, purples, yellows of something so wild so beautiful, yet so fragile that it could be gone within decades?

RETURA CLAAR is a designer, visual artist, and emerging writer based in San Francisco, California. Her work explores color, form, and texture inspired by mountain ranges and deserts across the West. Lately she’s been experimenting with film photography as a new medium to document her travels in the backcountry and little moments of joy in the city. She recently showed illustrations in Denver, Colorado.

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TANGO OF TREES, NAMBE, NEW MEXICO DICK ALTMAN

Arms entwined, gnarled by time. One bends to the other. The other recoils. Wind-driven tango. High-desert romance of tangled wills. Suspended like statues, as if each stalked the other. Tai Quan badger and snake, trading fists of words. Your unquiet mind a squall line, storm always on the verge. Arms raised to strike. One of us on guard. One in perpetual retreat. What in my voice sets you on edge? Your verbal blades rarely miss bone. Dusky music gales off Truchas Peak. Our mirrored selves dance in familiar fury. Your limbs wrap around mine, a pause in our syllables of steel.

DICK ALTMAN writes in the high, thin, magical air of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where, at 7,000 feet, reality and imagination often blur. He is published in Santa Fe Literary Review, American Journal of Poetry, riverSedge, Fredericksburg Literary Review, Foliate Oak, Blue Line, THE Magazine, Gravel, The Offbeat, Haunted Waters Press, Split Rock Review, Almagre Review, The RavensPerch, Sky Island Journal and others here and abroad. He is a poetry winner of Santa Fe New Mexican’s annual literary competition. His first collection of poems, Voices in the Heart of Stones, is being considered for publication.

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ON THE SONORAN DESERT DOUG STONE

The desert glows with last moments of sun until the dying light wanders off to the west, softening saguaros to silhouettes against the fast fading, blue-black sky. As night rises out of the earth, its blindness rubs away all things certain. You too, become blind. Your hand reaches like a flower desperate for light. Without the privilege of sight, your fingers touch warm rocks and read the story of this place, feel the beginning, that ancient pulse: the earth’s heart, alive in the stone, beating with the same rhythm as your own.

DOUG STONE lives amid hop yards and vineyards near the Willamette River in Western Oregon. He has written three collections of poetry, The Season of Distress and Clarity, The Moon’s Soul Shimmering on the Water, and Sitting in Powell’s Watching Burnside Dissolve in Rain.

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DESERT HONEY, LILIANA MARTINEZ SAUCEDO Experimental 35mm Film

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ROCKS CHARLENE MOSKAL

When her son was young, very young but old enough to see beauty he would bring her rocks. He found them at the beach worn smooth, in gravel beds around the base of trees, along the sides of caliches roads. He found them while playing in fields. He would stop, squat down, put the rock that glistened between blades of grass into his pocket. Later, he would hand her his treasure. She said that it’s always been that way—his need for something solid, permanent, something to hold onto, clutch in his hand, put in his pocket, offer as a prize. She has tried to explain that the flower, seed to seed, is also something valuable to grasp, that impermanence has its lessons, its own beauty colored with vibrancy even as its hues change and fade. He does not realize she is a flower although she understands why he will put rocks of remembrance on her grave.

CHARLENE STEGMAN MOSKAL is a Teaching Artist for The Alzheimers Poetry Project under the auspices of the Las Vegas Poetry Promise Organization. Moskal is a visual artist, a performer, a voice for NPR’s “Theme and Variations” and a writer. She is published in numerous anthologies, magazines, and online, most recently, Connecticut River Review, Sandstone & Silver: An Anthology of Nevada Poets, Southwestern American Literature, and Oyez Review. Zeitgeist Press is the publisher of her second chapbook, One Bare Foot. Moskal is in her seventh decade, loves laughter and coffee ice cream hot fudge sundaes.

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MINERAL CRAVING, ANASHRITA HENCKEL Watercolor on Watercolor Paper ANASHRITA HENCKEL is an emerging artist who was born in the Caribbean, grew up in London, and now lives in Dubai. Primary school teacher by day and artist by night, Narsh works in a variety of media including painting, paper-sculpture, photography, and digital art. Obsessed with patterns, geometry, and the order of the natural world, Narsh uses pattern and layers of imagery to explore themes such as order and chaos; peace and discord. She seeks to peel back the layers of an object to conceptually reveal a deeper meaning and explore how we, as humans, are affected by and can effect change upon the world.

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FALLING STONE, CAMILLA TAYLOR MIXED MEDIA CAMILLA TAYLOR was born in California, but grew up in the conservative Mormon town of Provo, Utah. As soon as she could, Taylor moved to what she thought of as the “big city,” Salt Lake, and left the church she was raised in. In that den of iniquity, she attended the University of Utah and received her BFA. She later received her MFA with an emphasis in printmaking from California State University at Long Beach in 2011. Taylor now happily lives in Los Angeles with her partner and three cats.

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PEGMATITE MARGARET LLOYD

True, I am badly weathered, but could it be that I am more beautiful for that? More complex? More concerned with truth than with faith. You are not sure what I really am and think that if I were split open, my internal structure laid bare, then you would know. I was mobile, volatile, extreme in my making. But finally isn’t desire a mystery? Remember you did not know my name when you picked me up as you idled along a dusty path near the corn fields. My name from ancient Greek, to bind together. It began with a gesture. A bending down and your hand reaching to hold me in the center of your palm.

MARGARET LLOYD’s first book, William Carlos Williams’ Paterson, was published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Alice James Books brought out her first book of poems, This Particular Earthly Scene. Plinth Books published Lloyd’s second collection, A Moment in the Field: Voices from Arthurian Legend. Forged Light was published by Open Field Press. In 2017, she won a Welsh Books Council Grant which supported the publication by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch of Travelling on Her Own Errands: Voices of Women from The Mabinogi. Lloyd has also published widely in journals such as AGNI, Poetry East, Willow Springs, New England Review, and Poetry Wales.

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I FOUND HALF A ROBIN’S EGG GARY YOUNG

I found half a robin’s egg beneath a maple tree. I don’t know if a chick was hatched and the shell fell from the nest, or if a jay found the egg and this is all that’s left. The shell just fits over my fingertip, a pale blue thimble, like the sky pressing down from above.

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AS FAR AS YOU CAN SEE, NO. 2, JOCELYN ULEVICUS Acrylic on Panel, 60cm x 80cm

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LOVE THIS MOMENT, SUWICHADA BUSAMRONG PRESS Mixed Media on Linen, 48’’ x 60’’

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RUSTED SKY SURYATAPA

The tales of our intimacies visit me like forgotten fragrances— swept on an instinct by the evening breeze. I do not lament my absence in your world the rusted sky, however, still speaks of the endless days I dusked waiting for you.

SURYATAPA is a cell biologist and writer currently based in the California Bay Area. SUWICHADA BUSAMRONG PRESS’ unique and colorful background began in a small farming village in the Isaan, a northeast region of Thailand. Press learned the art and craft of making expressive colors from natural dyes and creating the finest Thai silk. She moved to the US in 2006 and started learning English at Hunter College, New York. She studied interior design and fiber at College for Creative Studies in Detroit and received a bachelor’s degree in 2013, and later received a master’s degree in architecture and fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2015. After graduating, she opened her own studio and began developing color theory and her own painting style to express her innermost emotion and voice. She began working with transparent fabric installations until she perfected a distinctive contemporary painting technique.

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STRETCHING TO ETERNITY RANDY GERRITSE

I love the sky. Humanity may have resculpted almost every inch I’ve seen of our once paradise, but not the firmament’s blue, red, orange, black, and gray — not the stars that light it, nor the clouds that shade it. From golden dawn to silver dusk, no matter my age, I’ll never tire of the sight — staring up mornings, days, and nights, marveling at the ever-changing wondrous canvas up above, stretching to eternity.

RANDY GERRITSE is a rock journalist for Metal On Loud Magazine and as such watches the world in search of both rhythms and answers. As an author, host of the Twitter poetry prompt tag #vsspoem, and a lyricist for four different bands (Dissector, The Lust, GOOT, and Loudborn), poetry is part of his every day—it even found its way into his (as of yet unpublished) novels. Where his magazine is where he developed his dialogue skills, the social platform, in a way, has become the drafting pad for his poetic thoughts, where he is ever self-editing. His first self-publication, a large bundle of his micro poetry, forged into a single, two act epic poem called “The Rhythm of Life,” now available on Amazon. Gerritse’s first published short stories “Rain Must Fall” and “Days Gone By” are now available in respectively the Of Silver Bells and Chilling Tales and Of Mistletoe And Snow anthologies by Jazz House Publications.

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SKYSHORE, AMI J. SANGHVI

AMI J. SANGHVI (she/her) is an Indian-American, queer author, artist, MMA fighter, and selective gamer grappling with the horrors of existing in the real world. Her visual art appeared in four of Fusion Art’s exhibitions (2nd place for Photography/Digital Art in their 4th Annual Colors Art Exhibition), the front and back covers of High Shelf Press’s Issue XIV, The Moving Force Journal, The Haberdasher, Light Space & Time’s 10th Annual Figurative show (Special Recognition in the “Photography & Digital” Category), the 2020 Los Angeles stARTup Art Fair, and the Santa Clarita Artists Association’s Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and 2020 Annual Classic art exhibitions, receiving a Photography Merit Award for her work. Recently, her digital art was published in Inverted Syntax. Her photography will also be published in the 2021 issue of So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library.

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HOME AND AWAY, VANESSA PEJOVIC Digital Photograph

VANESSA PEJOVIC is a photographer living and working in southwestern Ontario, Canada. She’s drawn to the shapes, tones, and moods of the natural world. It’s both vulnerable and fierce; both needy and indifferent; capable of both blending into the background and of grabbing the spotlight. Self-taught, Pejovic enjoys wandering her neighborhoods, practicing the art of noticing.

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TWO HAIKU KJMUNRO

late August even the gulls fly in formation

relentless surf— each wave renews the next

KJMUNRO lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada, and a member of the League of Canadian Poets and the Federation of BC Writers. Her debut poetry collection is contractions (Red Moon Press, 2019), and she is currently revising a poetry manuscript.

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CLOUD ANGEL JENNIFER LAGIER

I am a feather on the bright sky From “The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee” by N. Scott Momaday

Shore fog divides from cloud, molds itself into a winged seraph sailing across sapphire sky above shaggy pines. Gray pelicans soar, skim autumn ocean, survey pleated waves, flop into anchovy shoals. A sea gull masquerades, spirals over damp beach, relinquishes a feather token, leaves an angelic fragment behind.

JENNIFER LAGIER has published eighteen books and in a variety of anthologies and literary magazines, taught with California Poets in the Schools, edits the Monterey Review, and helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Recent publications include Harbinger Asylum, The Rockford Review, Syndic Literary Journal, From Everywhere A Little: A Migration Anthology, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, Missing Persons: Reflections on Dementia, and Silent Screams: Poetic Journeys Through Addiction and Recovery. Her newest books are Camille Mobilizes (FutureCycle Press), Trumped Up Election (Xi Draconis Books), Dystopia Playlist (CyberWit), and Camille Comes Unglued (CyberWit). Forthcoming titles include Meditations on Seascapes and Cypress (Blue Light Press).

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I JUST KNOW THERE IS MORE, AND I NEED TO FIND IT, CONNOR DOYLE

CONNOR DOYLE is an emerging photographer and filmmaker based in the Chicagoland area. Graduating from Hampshire College’s Film/Photo program in 2016, Doyle’s work focuses on the idiosyncratic details of daily life in Northern Illinois, specifically his native Wheaton, Illinois. Though often trivial, his subjects capture the formal beauty and potency of these everyday sites, urging his viewers to reflect on the significance of their lived experiences. Doyle’s work has been featured in the Burningword Literary Journal, The Parliament Literary Magazine, and Hole in the Head Review.

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DEJAR, NATALI HERRERA-PACHECO

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NATALI HERRERA-PACHECO is a Venezuelan art historian, photographer, and anthropologist. As a photographer, she specializes in musician portraiture and street photography. Herrera-Pacheco was a member of Khemia Ensemble, a music collective devoted to the presentation of contemporary concert music in innovative ways. As a scholar, she has published articles and given presentations on Venezuelan music rituals at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France, the International Congress of Americanists in Mexico City, Mexico, and several conferences in her native Venezuela. She also collaborates with the online citizen-media collective Global Voices as a writer. Herrera-Pacheco is a doctoral student at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain, currently researching contemporary Caribbean literature.

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AT SEA JENNIFER ATKINSON

At flood tide, the field goes under and the ocean unflattens its pale cold-killed grasses, re-animates the broken reeds, tugs at the puppet-strings of the heather. Once it was summer and I lay face up in the dory, loosed the lines, and let the tide decide. Six gulls, an osprey, a little flotilla of cormorants—air, sea—who isn’t afloat in lapses of drift? ••• At dead low, there’s nothing to puppet the limpness, no fingers to fill the empty gloves of the marsh. Left behind, refused by the tide—torn seaweed and plastic, a scatter of shells, gravel, winter-bleached trash—stuff there’s no use denying. Smoke blooms on the next point—a neighbor burning storm-splintered wood— a boat, it looks like, but who burns a boat?

JENNIFER ATKINSON is the author of five collections of poetry: The Dogwood Tree, The Drowned City, Drift Ice, Canticle of the Night Path, and The Thinking Eye. Individual poems have appeared in various journals including Field, Image, Witness, Free Verse, The Cincinnati Review, and The Missouri Review. She teaches in the English Department and the MFA and BFA programs at George Mason University.

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HAIKU IN TWO PARTS CLAUDIA ULLMAN

Rushed and eager, the wave offers spilling foam to the silent shore Tempered by her hush, the wave politely retreats to the deep

CLAUDIA ULLMAN spent many years as a literacy educator in New York City working with families in transitional housing. When she isn’t writing with her Fire Island poetry group, she is likely painting still lifes and oceanscapes. She shows her paintings at the annual Gracie Square Art Show and the Saltaire Art and Craft Festival. She shows her paintings at the annual Gracie Square Art Show, the Saltaire Arts Festival, and the Los Laguna Art Gallery.

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THREE POEMS SAMANTHA R. S.

EBB The ocean has taught me many things, like, you can exhaust your lungs to brew a storm that brings the tide to your thirsty shores, and keeps him there against his will, and, when you finally rest, he will ebb away, leaving you resenting the very breath that carries you.

FULL The sea must first be full, herself, before feeding the mouths of rivers.

WOMAN Today, the sea is woman— the way she composes herself, like she hadn’t been disturbed by the storm the night before.

SAMANTHA R. S. is an educator and poet born and raised in the twin isle republic of Trinidad and

Tobago. Growing up in an Indo-Trinidadian home with a Muslim mother meant that poets like Rumi, Amir Khusro, and Muzaffar Warsi shaped her ear and love for words. She used poetry as a creative outlet for dealing with the bundle of emotions that come with changing relationships and the human condition. In August 2020, her first book, Running with Daffodils, was published.

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WINTER WATER, MARGARET DRIES Acrylic MARGARET DRIES has been creating art as long as she can remember. She studied fine art at the Uni-

versity of Wisconsin, exploring figure drawing, two- and three-dimensional art, illustration, and graphic design. She lived in Chicago before moving to the East Coast. Dries owns Sunset Hill Studio, a design and art business in North Conway, New Hampshire.

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COASTAL MEMORY, JASON ENGELUND

JASON ENGELUND creates artworks of the sun, sea, and the transformative experiences of landscape

by merging aspects of photography and painting. Art writer and curator A. Will Brown described Engelund as being “distinctly aware of the conceptual and metaphorical capacities of landscape.” Look forward to new artworks at Engelund’s exhibitions and online at Adele Gilani Art Gallery.

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WOMAN ADRIANNA CAPUTO

It’s a second in the sunshine, and then your body is whitewater. You are the foam that gathers and folds on the shore when the wind is right, and the air is sticky with green-headed flies. The feeling is a wash, and then it is gone. Then you are just ocean. Blue and shining, but unable to be caught by breeze and stick to your own ankles, or the ankles of the woman who walks along the lap of water, her back a windworn palm, as she bends to sand and searches for shells in the trashline, light hitting the nape of her neck in a way that brings a lazy lash of red, a peel that leaves her pale, a glowing mash of skin against the sea.

ADRIANNA CAPUTO was born and raised in the Pine Barrens of South Jersey. She is currently earning

her BFA in creative writing at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and spends her time studying poetry when she is not exploring the beaches and mangroves around Tampa Bay. She lives at home with her dog, two cats, and a snake. Her work has appeared in the A3 Review.

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SLACK TIDE LAURA SMITH

Purple half-shells list at angles in the mud. An hour and a half we wait for slack to pass for the sea to seep into the low-tide rivulets. The tide must turn. It always does. The stand of the tide is that moment when incoming and outgoing waters are said to be unstressed; water in its salty spaciousness. In truth, the tides collide, scatter like shock waves. Above, seagulls squawk their indecision. An hour and a half we wait for truth of gravity to seep past groundlessness and clumps of orange seaweed to slip below the surface.

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EMERALD DEEP, TIC IKRAM Aqua.Tic Elements, Oil, and Mineral Spirits on Canvas, 30’’ x 40’’ TIC IKRAM is a contemporary artist with a background tethered in design. Her work is informed by both disciplines. Her unique narrative encapsulates California living and coastal symbols reimagined as aesthetic objects. Known for exploring iconic shapes and textures, Ikram’s reductive artworks respond to the tactility of her environment whilst constructing its complexity in minimalist form. Her signature approach is recognized by her bold palette selections, smooth gradient transitions, and compositional balance. Her practice speaks to the central concern of the ethical responsibility we have with our surroundings and supplies a commentary on its power and fragility.

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SALT AND SEA, MARINA SAVASHYNSKAYA DUNBAR

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THE INVISIBLE SMELL OF THE SEA STAN SANVEL RUBIN for J

Thinking doesn’t do much good on a January morning too cold for thought or any memory that does not warm the soul, body left reckoning on its own how best to preserve a cage of heat inside a jacket that is not waterproof, not truly, in this cutting wind. A gull carrying half a clamshell comes hopping by, its clumsy wings tucked in-then-out in a weird dance for balance because even the birds find this wind strange. The smells that blow from the water don’t fit the day, as if some stage carpenter has gotten something wrong, a measurement displaced by an absence, a miscalculation of circumstance beyond the mind’s control. Breathe salt from all directions. Be the tip of every wave.

STAN SANVEL RUBIN has poems recently in 2 River, Sheila-na-gig and Aji and has been published in Agni, Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest, One, and others. His four full collections include There. Here (Lost Horse Press) and Hidden Sequel (Barrow Street Book Prize). He lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington.

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DESIRE GAIL PECK

A tenderness grew in me beyond all proportion like a tangled vine nothing you could see such as initials scarring a tree but the desire claimed there to be entwined in something permanent the way the sea in all its motion can’t let go of the sea

GAIL PECK holds an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and is the author of nine books of poetry. Her first full-length book, Drop Zone, won the Texas Review Breakthrough Contest; The Braided Light won the 2014 Lena Shull Book Contest. Poems and essays have appeared in Southern Review, Nimrod, Greensboro Review, Brevity, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Comstock Review, and elsewhere. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart and for Best of the Net. Her essay, “Child, Waiting,” was cited as notable by Best American Essays.

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SEAWEED 11, WHITNEY RIVER Graphite on Paper, 19’’ x 13’’

WHITNEY RIVER graduated from Yale University in 1995. Since then she has shown extensively throughout New England and her drawings and paintings are represented in many private and corporate collections. She is inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds her in Maine, both in the woods and by the ocean. She uses oil on canvas and graphite on paper to render found natural objects with great detail and precision. The simplicity her compositions emphasizes the way the organic forms interact with each other and with the space around them. Separated from their origins and presented without distraction, the viewer can focus on the individual objects, and appreciate them not only for what they are, but for what they might represent.

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PORTRAIT OF AN ELDER, MARTHA NANCE

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FOUR HAIKU J. R. RAINER

The lacebark elm sheds all of herself —the advent of autumn

Off in the distance— a song carried on the back of the wind

suspended on a single thread of web: elm leaf

crescent moon you shine with darkness cradled in your womb

J. R. RAINER lives in the shadow of San Gorgonio, amidst the orange groves and the palms. MARTHA NANCE is a physician in Minnesota who immerses herself in the parklike neighborhood that she lives in, whenever she can.

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SHIVER, KRISTIN INDORATO

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THE FLOOD MOHINEET KAUR BOPARAI

for my brother, Fateh

Years ago when the weather alighted on us, we looked for places to hide, nestled under banana leaves, splashed under grape boughs until the flood poured over us its dim shadow. How could it rain that much? How could water, that was so thin, drown entire cities? A part of us did not believe them. A part was silently terrified. Monsoons later, I still wonder, what color sky was it that had shed such agony? What immersed these promises in pain? When my grandmother talks of how rain is good for the paddy crop, I wonder if she has seen that flood; but I see her glassy eyes have seen more, much more. But is seeing ever enough, is seeking?

MOHINEET KAUR BOPARAI is a poet, teacher, and academic. She holds a Ph.D. in English and her research interests include postcolonial and feminist writing and theory, modern poetry, Indian writing in English, and studies of oppression and resistance. She has published five books of poetry; her latest book Polychromasia was published by Mawenzi House Publishers, Toronto, in 2019. She has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. In an interview published in Zymbol Magazine, she was called India’s rising star. In addition to poetry, she has published and presented at conferences several research papers. She has taught in various universities and schools.

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CRANE C. L. LIEDEKEV

Skim and stab, the crane pulls two legs up end from the murk-brown lake, a dance on repeat, the same ripping sound of the tendon from bone, dying not on impact, not when new underbelly splinters open, the final song is the same as the song before that and before that—of acceptance.

C. L. LIEDEKEV is a writer/propagandist who lives in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, with his real name, wife, and children. He attended most of his life in the southern part of New Jersey. His work has been published in Television Religion, Open Skies Quarterly, and Impspired, among other places. He continues to make the great Hoboken poet/exterminator Jack Wiler proud. You can follow him on twitter @clliedekev.

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COMMON REED AND CATTAILS, WHITNEY RIVER Graphite on Paper, 26’’ x 20’’

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WIDOWS CREEK, BENJAMIN ERLANDSON

DR. BENJAMIN ERLANDSON is a skeptic, longitudinal thinker, brewer, gardener, photographer, designer, and writer. Shooting for almost thirty years and writing for nearly forty, he spends quite a bit of time switching gears between fiction, nonfiction, and photography. A lifelong learner, Erlandson currently resides in Glade Valley, North Carolina.

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THE STREAM STELIOS MORMORIS

The loveless slip of rainbow along a braid in the stream follows the skittering arrows of a fleet of salmon, whose aim dies out in pools of detritus, where spotted leaves around us float in shadows, and a dry oar lies in exile on the muddy shore. Down on the mossy bottom a set of keys gleams as the sun comes out with its reprieve. And I am left to wonder: where did I row, how did I swim here, and what house did I leave?

STELIOS MORMORIS is a native of Boston and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and is CEO of EDGE BEAUTY, Inc., an online beauty company that markets wellness products. A dual citizen of Greece and the United States, and raised in New York, Mormoris has spent most of his adult life living in Paris. He received his undergraduate degree in architecture at Princeton, and MBA from INSEAD in Paris. Mormoris is a former professional rugby player as well a contemporary artist specializing in abstract oil painting. Mormoris was a member of the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University and has published work in Verse, Press, Whelk Walk Review, Gargoyle, Spillway, Nassau Literary Review, Sugar House Review, Midwest Poetry Review, South Road, and other literary journals. Mormoris has held positions on the boards of the French Cultural Center of Boston, Historic New England, the Fragrance Foundation, SYMRISE, ACT-UP, and the Kytherian Society of Greece.

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WHAT THE RIVER SAYS WHITE FISH ISLAND, WINTHROP SUBHAGA CRYSTAL BACON

You come for solace to escape the noise which is always there. The machines that move you day and night. Wade over the rocks, get your feet wet, your pant legs. Sit on a log by a shallow pool where my voice will be clear as my face. Listen. You are surrounded by music, the song of life. Its many voices are the language of meeting. Rock, stone, wood. Alone, I am silent. Only the fish and birds hear what I say. The clouds gaze upon themselves in my face reflecting back on themselves. Even you, beloved, if you lean far enough, open your eyes, like them, you become me.

SUBHAGA CRYSTAL BACON is the author of two volumes of poetry, Blue Hunger (Methow Press, 2020) and Elegy with a Glass of Whisky (BOA Editions, 2004). A Queer Elder, she lives, writes, and teaches on the east slope of the North Cascade Mountains in Twisp, Washington. This poem is part of a series written during an Icicle Fund Conservation, History and Art artist’s residency on the Methow River watershed. Her recent work appears or is forthcoming in the Bangalore Review, Pure Slush, Indianapolis Review, Mom Egg Review, and Transition. Her work can be found on www.subhagacrystalbacon.com.

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MIRROR POND, KENNETH JOHNSON

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FU 11 G (PP01.1+4-PF05.1+4)190524 #1, JOHN A. BLYTHE

JOHN A. BLYTHE is a UK-based artist whose work has been exhibited internationally. Following a

twenty year career as a professional photographer, Blythe completed a PGDip(Ed) in 2016 and recently graduated with a Master of Fine Art in Fine Art from Oxford Brookes University. Combining teaching and art practice, Blythe is also involved with Fusion Arts, a local charity, in running a community darkroom in east Oxford. Blythe’s current art practice is an experimental exploration into the intermedia space between photography and painting.

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WATCHING SAM SHARP

I watched a great blue heron watch fish below four-lane traffic. Ten minutes, he and I hoped together beside the bottle-brown river on a thin winter morning. The moment came. He paused, poised with his sniper eye, sighted in and missed. He did not stop to see his mistake floating downriver, but simply swallowed the water he’d caught before angling his head back into his second act of patience. Then the rain started. And evening fell down on us. But he kept on waiting, that feathered statue, and I kept on watching.

SAM SHARP is a senior undergraduate at Kent State University, studying as a poetic scientist and a sci-

entific poet. The natural world is his source of inspiration, motivation, and blanket of connection, and he seeks to share that relationship with others. He enjoys cycling, painting, cheap wine, writing poetry, warm turtlenecks, and learning new species of trees. But at the end of the day, he’s just another human primate with something on his mind.

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AT A CREEK BESIDE A SHOPPING MALL DOUGLAS NORDFORS

Before I stand and go there, let me not be consumed by the oceanic shadow of necessary goods, let me just sit here on a sizeable, jagged stone, as if beside a stream without a bed—and because I can’t explain how death just can’t be an infant thing, let me, unlike a river, flow deeper than the ground, and not leave behind irrelevant love.

DOUGLAS NORDFORS is a native of Seattle, and he currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has published three books of poetry, Auras (2008), The Fate Motif (2013), and Half-Dreaming (2020), all with Plain View Press. New work is forthcoming in Broad River Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Poetry South, JuxtaProse Literary Magazine, and other journals.

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COMPOSITION IN GREEN, LILIAN SHTEREVA Chlorophyllin Extract Dye, Acrylic on Canvas, 26’’ x 23’’

LILIAN SHTEREVA, born in Haskovo, Bulgaria, is a New York City-based artist. Her work investigates the simultaneous impermanence and tenacity of the natural world, while referencing her personal history and interest in process-based painting. Shtereva uses fluids and dispersion of paint with open-ended marks, shapes, and stains. The hectic nature of her gestures is at times in full contrast with the meditative formations of translucent stains that vibrate between paint and fabric. The artist’s tools include rabbit-skin glue, poppy seed oil, natural handmade pigments, chalk, marble, botanical matter, organic dyes, and soft acrylics. Shtereva received the Define American Artist Fellowship (2019), and the Soze Foundation Artist+Activist grant (2020). In October 2019, she was selected as a participant in a workshop and exhibition at Mana Contemporary (Jersey City, New Jersey) hosted by painter Antonio Murado.

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THREE HAIKU PIPPA PHILLIPS

the curve of a lone swan’s neck— a waning moon

a dewdrop loses its grip— twilight falls

long winter— sipping the memory of the sun

PIPPA PHILLIPS is an emerging writer with been published in Failed Haiku, The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls, Haiku in Action, Asahi Shimbun, Cold Moon Journal, with features in on Haiku Dialogue and Haiku Crush. Phillips has forthcoming publications in Prune Juice and the Akitsu Quarterly, and has also published free verse and fiction at other publications.

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HAIKU STEVE ULLOM

The last brown leaf drops no longer tethered to home; winter winds crawl close

STEVE ULLOM watches life and writes from the middle of a continent with his wife and two dogs. His writing can be found at or is upcoming in Quail Bell Magazine, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, The Ravens Perch, Light – a Journal of Photography & Poetry, Walloon Writer’s Review, Ascent, and Utopia, as well as in the anthologies The Colours of Refuge and Mytho.

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COLD READING, VANESSA PEJOVIC Digital Photograph

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INDIGO J. A. HANDVILLE

The gravest sound does not reach past the mouth of a river. It curves around its indigo lips, barely touches, dissipates. Anybody singing in dirges from its depths will never hear their tune reverberate, wet off the surface. The light will never touch their face. How does one live beneath the water—blue-faced— and yet, not drown? By some sort of anatomical magic? Or the crow’s curse? Tell me how a dying mind imagines a living hope, or a rescue, or a disembodied hand that breaks through.

J. A. HANDVILLE is a poet based in Syracuse, New York, and the self-published author of 2018’s Internalize. In between consuming copious amounts of coffee, Handville creates collages and poetry often themed around the difficulties of mental illness and the human condition. Handville’s poetry has been published in Unvael, Into the Void, and is forthcoming from Dissonance Magazine. He is currently writing his second poetry collection. You can follow him on Instagram at j.a._handville.

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GOLDEN SHEEN EMILY HERMANN

A sheet of light wavers on the surface, breaking with every ripple. Yet, maintaining cohesion, swirling and spinning and shuddering, as one. And in the next moment, shapes shine through. Details sharpen, shadows remain, and for a moment, with imagination, you can just make out the light ahead of you.

EMILY HERMANN combines analytical observations of the world with a softness that cherishes the ethereal beauty of life and nature. In her poems, Hermann abstracts the perception of living in this body and interacting with the external world through her senses and experiences. Her work has been published in a collection of poems, titled Year of the Bean, and is available on Amazon. Follow her poetry on Instagram @yearofthebean.

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ABOVE THE CLOUDS, MARGARET DRIES Acrylic

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RAIN, EMILY GILLCRIST Acrylic on Paper, 10’’ x 6’’

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BEFORE WE RETURN HOME ERIKA STROMERSON

The afternoon splits open and rain hardens angrily to hail. I stand beneath a dense hemlock brush bits of ice from my dog’s fur as he stirs, restless, around my knees. I pluck a cedar cone from between his toes and the stings of hail hit me, and him, and this hemlock tree. But we can see the sun peer through the gray, its light fading. It will stay bright, lighting the way back through the leaf-bare trees, the trail thick with pine sap, wilted bigleaf. This hail will pass yet. So we huddle and wait for the sky to clear.

ERIKA STROMERSON is an emerging writer and artist. Her work explores the philosophies surrounding divisions between nature and culture, and how the boundaries between these spheres often blur, mesh together, and influence one another. She often finds inspiration in her native landscape of the Pacific Northwest.

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EARLY DECEMBER WALK LISA ALEXANDER BARON The birds in the eaves are restless, because of the noise and light - Tu Fu

And I am restless, too, despite a new calm gathered on this walk through these far north pines laden with early snow, uneasy because of what is only half-started. The lake only partially thawed: fringes of ice on its rim and jags of ice in its center. The water says, safe and dangerous— like us. Like all our steps on dry ground or on ice. But I have gone still, just now, in this cold, under this winter sun, to take in this cutout of light through these snow-veiled pines.

LISA ALEXANDER BARON is the author of four collections of poetry including While She Poses, prompted by visual art. Her poems have appeared in Chautauqua Literary Review, Confrontation, THEMA, The Fourth River, and Potomac Review. An MFA in Poetry graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, she teaches socio and enviro advocacy in writing and speech at Philadelphia-area colleges. She is also a vegan mentor with PAN (Peace Advocacy Network).

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SALIS FABULA I, S. E. BACHINGER

S. E. BACHINGER is an interdisciplinary artist. As an ally and collaborator with nonhuman agents, Bachinger attempts to transmute the voice of their raw material and forgotten experiences through archive and art as a means of inserting their stories into our anthropocentric histories, interrupting our narratives regarding the origins of industrial colonization, technological advancement, our relationship to objects and the social and environmental injustices that stem from these histories and continue into our present. These conversations and collaborations, stories told in various forms and with other earthly collaborators and human relics, aim to serve as a means to better understand how collaborating with them in kinship can offer opportunities to right our past and present for a more vibrant future.

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REFLECTION, MICHELLE BOUCHER Water Color and Acrylic

MICHELLE BOUCHER‘s watercolor and acrylic compositions explore the connection of nature and human spirit. Allowing the water to take a natural path in the early design followed with layering in fine details creates contrasting textures and colors. Each painting is an observance of the simple beauty of human and nature. Boucher, who is self-taught, resides in the hills of Southern Oregon, which feeds her passion for all things creative. Art is her therapy, her outlet, her voice, and her spirit.

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GLENDALOUGH KATIE MARTIN

Glacial hollow. Lone tree on the summit. A sparrow alert, a footstep away. This beauty extinct without the eager eye and its delicate mechanics. Yet, we are less than last year’s leaves, fallen, compacted till invisible. The answer encounters me. To wake each day, as a traveler who arrived by night to a new place. Dawn, the mists rise. The lake deep in concentration transcribes the sky.

KATIE MARTIN is an emerging poet from Dublin, Ireland. Her poems have been previously published in Crannóg, Skylight 47, Abridged, The Bangor Literary Journal, and The Irish Times. She is currently a participant on the Words Ireland National Mentorship Programme. She has just completed her first chapbook and works as a freelance editor and arts administrator.

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CALIFORNIA CHAPARRAL JODIE WEST

Mountain peaks triumph in their ability to sun and spark rebirthing themselves after each fire. Not a lack for wanting forests of firs an unhesitating favor for coastal shrub flames born by the winds and their careless air feed the sage and the manzanita and allow their children to feed smoke-soaked and yearning to find a home in the woodlands accepting of its heat to enjoin its own temporary tomb in ash only for an annual renewal after the conflagration has died down. Buckbrush care naught for the human price of enabling its fruit to be born.

JODIE WEST (writing under pen name Marie Lemieux) received a degree in English Literature from

Claremont McKenna College in 1994. She is an elementary school science teacher and is a member of The Writers Group based in Akron, Ohio. West loves to read and attend cultural events in her community. She lives in southern California with her three fantastic boys.

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MIST JANIS LA COUVÉE

Mist moves slowly over the face of the mountain caresses forested flanks lingers in lush green valleys lifts from rocky summits recedes reveals blue sky aching beauty

JANIS LA COUVÉE is a writer and poet with a love of wild green spaces. She resides in Campbell Riv-

er, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and is dedicated to conservation efforts and exploring the great outdoors. Her poems have been featured by the Van Isle Poetry Collective. Learn more at janislacouvee.com

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UNTITLED III, WEIHUI LU Acrylic on Canvas, 46’’ x 96’’

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WEIHUI LU was born in Shanghai, China, and immigrated to New York with her family at a young

age. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University, where she was selected for the Centennial Scholars Fellowship. Her paintings have been exhibited at venues such as BAU Gallery, Trestle Gallery, and Oxford Arts Alliance, and featured in publications like Mud Season Review and Sine Theta Magazine. She was a 2020 Resident at Trestle Art Space. Lu lives and works in Queens, New York. SPRING/SUMMER 2021 ISSUE 2

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IN THOSE QUIET MOMENTS DENNIS MALONEY

In those quiet moments of silence you hear the voice of the owl in the distance, and other bird songs float in the air as the sun sets. The rustle of a pair of deer on the slope below, the eyes of the bobcat shine as he turns and disappears in the dusk.

DENNIS MALONEY is a poet and translator. A number of volumes of his own poetry have been published including The Map Is Not the Territory: Poems & Translations, Just Enough, and Listening to Tao Yuan Ming. A bilingual German/English volume, Empty Cup, was published in Germany in 2017. Recent collections include The Things I Notice Now and The Faces of Guan Yin.

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FALL IN SANTA FE, LAWRENCE BRIDGES

LAWRENCE BRIDGES is best known for work in the film and literary world. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums, Flip Days, and Brownwood. As a filmmaker, he created a series of literary documentaries for the NEA’s “Big Read” initiative, which include profiles of Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, Tobias Wolff, and Cynthia Ozick.

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UNTITLED, WEIHUI LU Acrylic on Canvas, 24’’ x 24’’

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KIN CHERIESE FRANCOISE ANDERSON

Evening draws in and the sun lays gently it’s last kiss of the day upon her earth and with tender lips grazes blissful air with the affection of one lover to another and as the heat draws sweat from the soft skin of her neck just like the moon pulls willing tides as it may she closes her eyes and lets the magic of twilight paint her mind with lines of love that fall straight from the burning evening sky and she breathes in that warmth so deep and sings it out in poetry

CHERIESE FRANCOISE ANDERSON is an Australian poet living in North Queensland. Drawing much of her inspiration from nature, life experience, and her own spiritual journey, she rejects traditional restrictions in favor of limitless, smooth-as-honey flow. Her debut poetry collection Wild Chai was published November 2020, captivating hearts of women all over the world with its gentle feminine serenades and soft yet fierce letters from her heart to yours, reminding readers of their own magic and importance of self-love.

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ECHOLOCATION PAUL FELSCH Almost as quickly as it came into view did it turn into a fixation—a lone bat, no bigger than my palm, hanging in almost ascetic mediation just outside our kitchen window. We tended to it as if in ritual—bowing our heads close to the glass at nearly every meal, peering at its shroud of membranous wings and soft fur, hoping it would return our gaze, or even emit a gentle squeak. On the other side, our daughters transformed the patio into a makeshift shrine— chalky glyphs of black bats with pink hearts transposed for ears, myriad little rainbows alongside white, curly clouds; birdseed and sliced carrots scattered beneath its inverted body. When they asked if it could be our pet, I found myself using words like freedom and rabies, even disease, words and concepts they’d never heard before, and which I’m still not sure they fully understood, their faces as still and quiet as the bat itself.

Though I know it wasn’t anything more than a creature that was sick or lost, when it vanished, we all felt a small flame of sadness flicker inside us. And later that evening, spread out around a bonfire, my daughters were convinced they saw it again, this time in the sky. And as I followed its movement, I was struck how it looked like their own pursuit of bubbles when they’re blown into the air, their ranging, earthbound bodies echoes of the muted aerials overhead, all in wordless flight over the yard.

PAUL FELSCH‘s work has appeared in SLANT, Pacific Review, Tar River Poetry, Cottonwood, Cape Rock, Big Muddy, and Rock & Sling, among others. He holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Southern Maine and a BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross. He currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO BE A BOY, WILLIAM BYBEE

WILLIAM BYBEE is an MFA Candidate at Idaho State University. His research has been centered around his love of abstract art. Abstraction has given him a way to talk about subjects that matter to him, but not force his thoughts on a viewer that is not ready to receive this message. Through abstraction, Bybee is exploring the world of codes and the world of Queer Abstraction. Some of the topics in his work is based in the concept that we as humans are all the same but put together in different patterns.

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10 DAYS IN, WES ADAM RIDDLE

WES ADAM RIDDLE is a writer, communicator, and photographer based in Oakland, California. Originally from just outside Yosemite National Park, he seeks out moments in nature whenever he can find them. He finds the most inspiration from journeys into the backcountry, especially trails involving meaningful changes in perspective and elevation. Find his work on Instagram @wesadamriddle.

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TOWARD NIGHT ANN GARCIA

Again, sunset drapes clouds in marigold, weeping loons share sorrow’s song, goodbye to a numbered day under skies, heavy crimson.

ANN GARCIA has a Ph.D. in psychology with expertise in learning, behavior, and neurodiversity. Her creative writing, which is highly introspective and emotion-driven, primarily explores nature, self, and love. She draws inspiration from waters and woodlands within the Great Lakes region of the United States and her life as a wife/artist/mother/scientist. She is a contributor in Issue #1 of blood moon POETRY. Find her work on Instagram (@solaceinraindrops) and her website (riverblossoms.com).

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TWILIGHT CHERIESE FRANCOISE ANDERSON

She has this way of pouring light into a room like a glass of sunshine spills in with her perhaps that was her magic and it was not hers in vain for she had known darkness too well too long see one of two things can happen to a person who has lived in the dark they either carry that burden with them seeking out the shadows that have come to feel like home or they become the embodiment of light itself and if you meet the latter you will know

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PYROCYSTIS ELEGANS, ALICE FRITZ Digital Illustration

ALICE FRITZ (she/they) is an artist, writer, and recovering software engineer living in the greater New York City Metro area. Her publications include a volume of poems by cats, and articles for news and trade publications. Her work has been mentioned by the CBC, featured in Paper Magazine, and exhibited in the Silvermine Guild Art Gallery, Creative Arts Workshop Gallery, The Still River Gallery, and City Lights Gallery.

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NEW MOON MORMEI ZANKE

Look up at the black night. The sky has no windows. I realize even the absence of something has a name. And what other phases have I failed to notice?

MORMEI ZANKE is a writer from Calgary, Alberta. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing from The University of British Columbia. Her writing has appeared in Juniper, The Maynard, Hart House Review, and Kyoto Journal.

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EAGLE NEBULA, ANNE WÖLK Oil on Canvas

ANNE WÖLK was born and raised in former East Germany. She is a figurative painter whose artistic work stands in the tradition of realistic contemporary artists Vija Celmins and Russel Crotty. Committed to an attitude of reskilling, Wölk uses traditional methods and materials. Her paintings predominantly show night sky scenes with deep and open galaxies. By quoting Spacetelescope images and digital photography resources, Wölk tests the margins between art and reality.

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Humana Obscura #02 (Spring/Summer 2021)  

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